The annual Taipei Lantern Festival started yesterday at the former Taipei Flora Expo Park near MRT’s Yuanshan Station, with a giant snake lantern made of 16,888 recyclable plastic bottles lit up in celebration of the Year of the Snake.
The design of the main lantern was inspired by Taiwan’s hundred-pace viper, which is a sacred animal in Aboriginal culture.
Holographic projection effects have been incorporate in the centerpiece of the “Snake Ben Theatre.”
The main lantern show will be presented every 30 minutes during the 11-day festival from 7pm to 11pm.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday joined Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) at the launch of the festival, saying that Hau had raised Taipei’s competitiveness over the past seven years.
The festival, which will run until March 3, was relocated to its current venue from Xinyi District (信義) to make use of the expo site.
The festival features various lantern areas that stretch from the expo Dome to the Greeting Square Tunnel entrance next to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
For the first time, the Confucius Temple also participated in the lantern festival, with a display of traditional lanterns in the temple’s east and west wings.
Another highlight of the festival is a 4km illuminated section of Zhongshang N Road.
Taipei City’s Department of Civil Affairs said the festival is expected to attract at least 6 million visitors this year.
Visitors are encouraged to make use of public transportation to get to the festival as traffic control measures will be imposed in the vicinity of the event to ensure smooth traffic flow.
A festival shuttle bus service is available at Taipei Railway Station between 5:30pm and 11pm.